Tuesday, March 23, 2010
UPDATE: Listen to our These Days interview with owl barn owner Carlos Royal.
Last month, a couple in San Marcos set up an owl house for an adorable barn owl named Molly who proceeded to lay six eggs. Carlos and Donna Royal installed a video camera in the house that broadcasts a live, 24-hour web feed of Molly and her hatchlings.
Since that time, one egg has hatched and a little pink owlet (named Max) now shares the owl house, which looks like a little wooden box. Max spends most of his time trying to lift his tiny fuzzy head. It's really hard when you don't have neck muscles.
Carlos and Donna have become owl experts. They hold web chats and Carlos fields general questions about barn owls. The live stream has close to 2 million views. Elementary schools are watching and reportedly, so are the troops.
Last night, those watching held an impromptu roll call announcing where they were from in the chat feature. Cities from all over the US were represented, as was Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland...it just kept going. I'll admit, I was among them. The whole thing is pretty addictive.
I will say, things get all kinda crazy in that owl house at night. A male owl named McGee visits for some shrieking and mounting, leaves immediately, then returns minutes later with some kind of rodent gift for Molly. Total playa! At one point Molly actually left the house, and viewers were able to get a good look at Max as he tried to stumble over the other eggs after his mother. It was wild kingdom adorable.